Sesame Chicken & Broccoli

Hello there– We’ve been traveling the last couple weeks–eating like we were on a vacation from reasonable food– such as mid morning coffee and pastry breaks every day!!  And tracking down fun places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

So it’s nice to get back to our own kitchen and have an “every day eating at home” kind of meal.  And this is a good one– ready in about 30 minutes, a little sweet, a little spicy.  So good to be at our own little table!

SESAME CHICKEN & BROCCOLI

1 cup white or brown rice
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in small cube
2 tab. sesame oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads broccoli, cut to bitesize pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup water
t tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1  1/2 tab. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Cut the chicken in bite size pieces.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Cook the chicken 4 or 5 minutes until it’s browned and cooked through, salt & pepper it liberally while it cooks.

While that’s cooking, cut up the broccoli and steam it in lightly salted water,  3 minutes in the microwave, until its tender but still crisp.

In  container with a tight fitting lid combine the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and chili sauce.  Shake the container until it is all blended and add it to the chicken on high heat, stirring until the sauce thickens, 2 or 3 minutes.

Drain the water from the broccoli and add it into the chicken in the pan.

On a platter, layer the rice and then the chicken and broccoli, scraping all that good sauce out of the pan over the chicken.  Sprinkle on the sesame seeds– ready to eat!

Soy Glazed Chicken

IMG_8756Hello all– Dinnertime has changed around our house.  Used to be Larry and I would sit over our two little pieces of chicken and quietly exchange tid bits about our days at work or what we’d read online.  Companionable, but perhaps a times we were a little dull.

Now dinner with Micah, Jodi and the grand-girls is more of a contact sport.  The platter is heaped with chicken.  The butter is passing, the spoons of rice are heaped onto plates and there is definitely a low roar of conversation.  It’s a lot more jolly.

So here’s a dish that was passed around the other night, enough for all 7 of us–

SOY GLAZED CHICKEN
2 tsp. sesame seeds
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
8 chicken thighs

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are golden (just a minute or two)

In a large baking dish, mix the lime juice, soy sauce, honey and garlic.

Remove the skin from the chicken thighs* and turn the chicken in the lime-soy-honey mixture to coat all sides.  Then put them top side down in the marinade and let them sit for 30 minutes.

Put the chicken in a 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of your pieces of chicken) — Then turn them and back in the oven 15-20 minutes more.

When they are done, arrange them on pretty plate and stir the sesame seeds into the glaze left in the pan– scrape the sauce from the pan over the chicken.

*The recipe I worked from left the skin on.  I’m sure it’s good either way.

Chopped Kale Salad with Honey Ginger Dressing

IMG_8136Hey there–This was Sunday lunch a couple weeks ago. Tasted just right after a couple nights of heavy duty eating out with friends!  What can I say?– there’s so much crunch and it’s light and spiced just right.  We gave it two thumbs up!  Hope you give it a try…

CHOPPED KALE SALAD WITH HONEY GINGER DRESSING

4 cups chopped kale
1 tab. olive oil
1 avocado, cut in nice little chunks
1 cup canned garbanzo beans
1/3 cup chopped almonds
2 tab. sesame seeds
2 green onions

Dressing:
1/4 cup oil oil
2 tab. cider vinegar
1 tab. honey
1/2″ chunk fresh ginger, minced
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Shake together the ingredients for the dressing in a container with a tight lid until it’s all emulsified.  Taste to adjust for seasoning.  Set aside

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan.  Drop in the kale and stir it just one minute to soften it a bit.

Put it onto a pretty salad bowl and then layer on the avocado, garbanzo beans, almonds, sesame seeds and green onion.  Pour on the dressing and enjoy with a sturdy chunk of good bread…

IMG_8135

Honey Sesame Chicken

IMG_9926Hi friends–  Here’s yet another week night chicken dinner.  I guess you’d call it one of those staples, you pull out for quiet evenings at home– a little spice, a little sweetness and the homey combination of chicken and brown rice.

HONEY SESAME CHICKEN
1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut to nice bits
2 tab. olive oil
garlic salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup tomato paste**
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tab. olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes*
1/3 cup water
1 tab. cornstarch
1 tab. sesame seeds
3 green onions, green parts, chopped

IMG_9937Cook the rice according to the package directions.  While that’s going, brown the onion in olive oil and then add in the cut chicken and cook it stirring now and then until it’s cooked through– about 8 to 10 minutes.  Salt it with garlic salt while it’s cooking.  In a container with a tight fitting lid, put the garlic, honey, tomato paste, soy sauce, 2 tab. olive oil, red pepper flakes, water and cornstarch.  Shake it until it’s well blended and then spoon it over the chicken.  Cook on high heat stirring until it thickens– just a couple minutes.

To serve it up, spread the rice on a pretty platter and then spoon the honey chicken over the top.  Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds.  I think you’ll like it.  We did.

*1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes is mildly spicy, if you’re a spice wimp (I would fall in that camp), you could start with less and work your way up to even more spicy.
** If you don’t have tomato paste on hand, the recipe I worked from called for ketchup.  That would work well too.